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Veteran filmmaker Tobe Hooper, pioneer of horror films, passes away at 74

29 August 2017

Director Tobe Hooper, who revolutionized horror movies with his low-budget 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, died on Saturday at 74, Variety reports. He would go on to take classes on film at the University of Texas at Austin, but went into teaching at first instead of film-making. Steven Spielberg was the producer and one of the writers. American cinema lived on the coasts, in NY and Hollywood.

Horror is a genre of metaphor.

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When The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released 40 years ago, few if any anticipated that it would revolutionize the horror genre. The film was a great success. The hippie idyll was being dragged out into the country and mutilated by the forces of reaction and tradition, and the kids in the van had more to fear from the forces of feral reaction than "The Man".

That was part of the allure of "Texas Chain Saw", which was written about hilariously and often by John Bloom, aka drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, a true "Chain Saw" disciple. Reading over Hooper's filmography is like reading a list of my favorite horror films from when I was a kid and even now.

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The 2005 TV series "Masters of Horror" saw contributions from Hooper, as well as the recently passed father of modern zombies George Romero.

Photo Mr. Hooper during an interview in Madrid in 2014. Hooper also directed a sequel called "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" in 1986, which had a more comic approach in its narrative.

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‪RIP #TobeHooper, brilliant director of #TheTexasChainsawMassacre - one of the most successful independent films of all time. Both are pretty much horror canon. His work there was more than enough to solidify his legacy, and while fans still enjoy works like The Mangler and Salem's Lot (both adaptations of Stephen King works), his later works were little more than the icing on the cake. Other big screen credits include Lifeforce and Invaders from Mars. The original movie was shot for less than $300,000. The first time you see it, you are pretty sure you saw a terrible bloody massacre, but you really don't. At the time we flirted with the idea of turning that into a film, what he told us was just beyond belief, involving Texas senators and "marshmallow" of burning dead animals from a neighboring farm that filled the house they were shooting in and made everyone sick.

Veteran filmmaker Tobe Hooper, pioneer of horror films, passes away at 74